It wasn't until I sat down on my elegant, cushy hotel bed when it hit me,
"I was seventeen and in Paris, France at last!"
I gave a squeal of joy and I got a puzzled look from the concierge putting up my luggage. I giggled and gave him a cute little grin. He sighed and smiled back. I gave him a nod and he left the room. I got up to latch the door and I leapt joyfully in the air and shrieked as loud as my corset would allow. I rushed over to the large window and threw open the velvet curtains. Outside was a pretty little picture of Paris and the featured building was none other than the Paris Opéra.
Most who go to Paris request a view of the Eifel Tower and naturally the hotel staff was surprised I wanted a view of the Paris Opéra. But despite their surprise, they obediently obliged, even though I was an unescorted lady (save my maid, Sally), I was paying them well and it was their job to satisfy my wishes.
But there was one wish they could not satisfy. The wish I wanted more than life. The wish I would have to grant myself. The wish that could come true tonight when I go to the Paris Opéra,
Even whispering the name made my heart skip a beat. Oh, how I adored that fluttery feeling of love! So I shouted the name again as loud as I could,
I got so excited I jumped into the air again; my yellow skirt and petticoat flew up and gently floated down when my feet hit the ground. I rushed to the bedside table which on top was where my little daffodil purse was situated. I opened up the purse and grabbed a little slip of paper…the ticket. I picked it up and gave it a noisy kiss. I looked at the writing on it again to see if it was still there,
"Box Five, Row A, Seat 3,"
I burst into happy song, "Tonight, tonight…is not just any night! Tonight there will be no morning star! Tonight, tonight…I meet Erik tonight! And my life will be changed for the good! Today…the minutes seem like hours! The hours go so slowly…because I want Erik! But here…I am…and what was just a world is a star! TONIGHT!"
I tap my golden heels impatiently. My enthusiasm of being in Box Five was wearing thin because I couldn't hear the sweet, melodious voice of Erik. Only the voice of some opera singer whose name I didn't know. I was glad it was almost over. I picked up my black purse that was crammed with my necessities and set it on my lap.
I started to primp by applying powder, rouge and lipstick. I even straightened up my hair and dabbed a little perfume on my wrists.
I blew myself a kiss in my little pocket mirror. I looked positively gorgeous! My hair was curled with little fake flowers weaved into it, my golden dress was the latest design, my jewelry was divine, my white gloves were elegant, and my face was as pretty as a siren's voice was. I even had a little gold tiara atop my pretty head.
Okay, I'm a little vain, but is that such a bad thing?
Just as I pulled the drawstrings on my purse, there was a roar of applause. I looked down at the stage and saw the performers taking their bows. I started to clap politely as I rose from my seat and headed out of the box. It was time to meet Erik.
I had memorized every twist and turn of the Paris Opéra by poring over infinite books about it, but it was still more fascinating in person. Some of the halls were crowded with performers who gave me strange looks and some of the corridors were empty and as quiet as the inside of a tomb. But all of them were more beautiful than I had imagined.
When I was at the turn just before Christine Daaé's former dressing room, a balding man in a frayed black suit shouted,
"You're not supposed to be here, Missy! This is for opera staff only! Now get…"
I cut him off by placing a very large amount of money in his hand. He gawked at me.
"Will that cover it?" I asked coolly as the man nodded stupidly. "And…would you mind making sure no one goes down this way tonight?"
"Oh…you won't have to worry…about…that," the man stammered, "No one…goes down here…after rumors of…" The man looked around and said in a whisper, "…the Opera Ghost!"
I grinned and told him to go on. He left obediently and I kept walking until I reached the dressing room.
It was not quite what I imagined. It was dark and dreary with cobwebs and dust everywhere and the large mirror was cracked down the middle. No one had been there for several years. I shuddered, but walked up to the mirror and pulled at it. It wouldn't budge.
I pulled at it harder with all my might and I heard a creaking sound. I looked to see that I had made about an inch of progress.
My head felt light and dizzy and I plopped down on the floor, hoping I wouldn't faint.
"Damn corset!" I cried.
I then pulled myself up, took off my heels, and grasped the sliding mirror again. I thought of my determination to see Erik and I pulled with strength I never thought I'd possessed. The creaking sound became louder and I felt the mirror move to the side. I went over to the other side and gave it a big push. The mirror moved and a long, dark tunnel was revealed.
I slipped my shoes back on and cautiously walked in.
I let out a scream and started running down the tunnel. I could run pretty fast when I was scared, even in high heels, an almost floor length gown, and a corset. I kept running and making every twist and turn I could manage, hoping to reach the lake…and Erik.
I ran for about half an hour, but not losing speed, I was close to fainting but I didn't care, I would die from exhaustion before I would stop running to Erik. I took a sharp left turn and I ran into a tall figure. I fell on my rear end and I got right back up again. I knew I had run into Erik!
I let out a squeal and gave the figure a tight hug, though after a few seconds, it felt too hard to be Erik. I looked up to see a stone column. My face flushed and I started to run on when I heard a strange sound. I thought it was some wild animal until I listened closely. It sounded like the maniacal laughter of a madman.
I crept closer and closer to the sound until I felt it was right next to me. I reached out to my right, but there was nothing there. Then I heard the laughter in my left ear. I spun to face it, but there was nothing there. I let out a scream and I felt someone push me down into the ground, the horrid laughter was loud and clear.
I started to whimper but then I stopped. I knew who it was. A ventriloquist! And the only ventriloquist I knew of was…
"ERIK!!!!!!!" I screeched ecstatically as I leapt up and embraced the tall, thin phantom. "Oh, I should've known it was you! Oh, you're wonderful and so brilliant! I was scared for a moment but…"
I felt a cold hand clamp over my mouth. It smelt of death. Oh, the sexy aroma of death!
"Dear God, Mademoiselle, control yourself!" Erik hissed. He quickly pulled his hand away once he felt me kiss it. I felt hurt by it, but I kept on.
"How can I control myself, love?" I sighed romantically. "After all these years of yearning for you, I'm finally halfway in your embrace!"
"Halfway?" He asked in a puzzled voice.
"Oh, darling!" I exclaimed, squeezing him tighter. "You are in my arms, but I don't feel your arms…they're up in the air! I'm embracing you, but you aren't embracing me! So it's only halfway!"
"What the…?" The phantom started to say, but I cut him off,
"Oh, your voice is so beautiful, love! I…I…feel faint because of it!" My eyelids fluttered and I fainted away in his arms.